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  1. #1

    Default Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Well, I'm sure many of you are familiar with Kerosene's youtube channel and his newly established fragrance line. Have any of you tried any of his fragrances, what is your opinion on the line?

    To be honest, I'm rather skeptical of it in general...with all due respect. I'm sure he puts a lot of time and effort into them without a doubt but are they really worth what you're paying for? Seeing that he is rather knew to the game, to throw the same value on them as fragrances worked on by veteran perfumers leaves me with some questions.

    With most niche and even designers...you're usually paying for a perfumer that has years if not decades of experience in the art. Now I have nothing against John but seeing a "average joe"/"rookie" jump into the game with a 3 digit price tag, of course I'm curious as to if its really all its hyped up to be.

    I've seen a lot of mixed reviews..some like it and some hate it.

    So for those who have actually tried the line, what are your thoughts?

    Is it worth it?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    I'm also curious as to the quality of John's offerings. He seems like a genuine and nice guy, but I'm just not sure about the fragrances. Not too keen on the bottles, a bit like a poor-man's By Kilian (not bashing at all, simply my opinion) and appear very 'homemade' but I'm not sure if that is part of the charm/intentional.

    Any opinions appreciated.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Agreed, I can care less about the bottle persoanlly...they are kinda like by Kilian though.

    It all comes down to the scent and the quality of the fragrance.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by yteek View Post
    Well, I'm sure many of you are familiar with Kerosene's youtube channel and his newly established fragrance line. Have any of you tried any of his fragrances, what is your opinion on the line?

    To be honest, I'm rather skeptical of it in general...with all due respect. I'm sure he puts a lot of time and effort into them without a doubt but are they really worth what you're paying for? Seeing that he is rather knew to the game, to throw the same value on them as fragrances worked on by veteran perfumers leaves me with some questions.

    With most niche and even designers...you're usually paying for a perfumer that has years if not decades of experience in the art. Now I have nothing against John but seeing a "average joe"/"rookie" jump into the game with a 3 digit price tag, of course I'm curious as to if its really all its hyped up to be.

    I've seen a lot of mixed reviews..some like it and some hate it.

    So for those who have actually tried the line, what are your thoughts?

    Is it worth it?
    In response to this and to back-up my previous post, I have nothing against a new perfumer coming onto the scene and charging top whack for his products if they are worth the price tag (in the same way that a new movie actor could be paid the same amount as a veteran, as long as they know what they are doing; this is from experience, I'm in the industry!) I just don't know enough about the line yet and as the OP stated, reviews are very mixed at this point. I also don't want to order samples uninformed, as shipping is expensive on top of the sample price for what could be a let down.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by yteek View Post
    Agreed, I can care less about the bottle persoanlly...they are kinda like by Kilian though.

    It all comes down to the scent and the quality of the fragrance.
    I too don't purchase based on the bottle design; however, I do find that generally a well designed, well made, well presented bottle draws the eye and consequently, the nose. If I saw these on the shelf next to some By Kilians or Mona di Orio bottles, I'd think they contained a relatively cheap fragrance.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    You are never going to know unless you sample them yourself - just like any other line/fragrance.

    Personally, I think John has done an excellent job. I own and enjoy R'Oud Elements, Copper Skies and Whips and Roses. I am very happy with my purchases.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    You are never going to know unless you sample them yourself - just like any other line/fragrance.

    Personally, I think John has done an excellent job. I own and enjoy R'Oud Elements, Copper Skies and Whips and Roses. I am very happy with my purchases.
    I respect your nose/opinion. Hopefully, you'll see where I'm coming from though regarding the samples. I tend to do a lot of research before ordering anything, samples or full bottles. The fragrances that I want to get my nose on have a habit of being unobtainable in the UK! I know I can get some samples sent over from Germany and will probably do so next time I order some FBs.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    I've tried only one - R'oud Elements that a friend of mine had. Nothing special IMO. Have smelled better oud scents. Perhaps the others are better.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    I possibly would sample it if they were free...but probably not.

    I am the type of person before purchasing or sampling anything, I do look into the reviews beforehand and the responses of the general public beforehand....then I'm able to see if it meets expectations or if it falls short.

    petruccijc, were you a fan of his channel beforehand and did you blind buy the fragrances or sample beforehand?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Any fragrance's worth is directly linked to your enjoyment of the fragrance. The only way you can know will be to sample. For many they are worth it. I've heard many good things on this board from noses I trust, I doubt they are lying. Everyone is a novice at one point and I believe John has been in to creating his own scents for a long time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraghead View Post
    I'm also curious as to the quality of John's offerings. He seems like a genuine and nice guy, but I'm just not sure about the fragrances. Not too keen on the bottles, a bit like a poor-man's By Kilian (not bashing at all, simply my opinion) and appear very 'homemade' but I'm not sure if that is part of the charm/intentional.

    Any opinions appreciated.
    Each bottle is hand painted by John himself, using automotive paint. They look nothing like By Kilian except for being a rectangle.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    I think with the square emblem, it does have its similarities...they're obviously really different but comparable at least.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by yteek View Post
    I possibly would sample it if they were free...but probably not.

    I am the type of person before purchasing or sampling anything, I do look into the reviews beforehand and the responses of the general public beforehand....then I'm able to see if it meets expectations or if it falls short.

    petruccijc, were you a fan of his channel beforehand and did you blind buy the fragrances or sample beforehand?
    I sampled them first, then made my decisions. I do not watch his channel.
    Last edited by petruccijc; 18th June 2012 at 07:57 AM.
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    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    I actually like the look of the bottles. On to the juice.... I think R'Oud Elements is decent. I own Copper Skies, and I really enjoy it. I haven't been able to try the others yet.
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

  14. #14

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    I'm getting some samples of this line this week, I'm very very intrigued I have to say. Really looking forward to seeing what Kerosene has produced.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    A couple of years ago I would have obtained some samples, but now what I'm finding is that the new frags I sample smell enough like something I already have, and so there is no need for a bottle. The unique ones I generally don't like, and I don't like strong oud notes. Once in a rare while I come across a frag that is different enough and pleasant enough that it is worth buying, but because that is so rare I don't go out of my way to obtain samples.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by starshipvelcro View Post
    Any fragrance's worth is directly linked to your enjoyment of the fragrance. The only way you can know will be to sample. For many they are worth it. I've heard many good things on this board from noses I trust, I doubt they are lying. Everyone is a novice at one point and I believe John has been in to creating his own scents for a long time.



    Each bottle is hand painted by John himself, using automotive paint. They look nothing like By Kilian except for being a rectangle.
    I also say that they appear homemade, so I'm not wrong there. I will repeat that I'm not bashing. It's an opinion, something that everyone is entitled to! I also state that I'm happy to pay top dollar for something if it's worth it, regardless of whether it's a new perfumer or an established one. Defending myself here starship, as I feel you're turning my post into something negative, which was not at all my intention. Accept my apologies if I have offended you.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraghead View Post
    I also say that they appear homemade...
    It's not likely someone like him could reproduce the complexity, dynamism, etc. of the great vintage frags, and I don't think one should sample his frags with that in mind (not that I'm saying that is what you did). I have yet to find a recent frag that has accomplished this, including the most expensive niche I've sampled. Rather, one should expect a simpler frag that is rich and straightforward. If you expect something different from this kind of "house" I think the likelihood of disappointment is great.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    I got a sample pack of Kerosene scents from MIN and have been testing them to write for my blog. On first sniff, I am impressed by the depth and development of the majority of them. There is one that doesn't agree with my skins but the others seem to be working very well.

    I come from the dance music world which is experiencing a DIY phenomenon as well. If you go back 10 years, the cost of equipment was really high - and then record labels exercised the role of quality control, acting as a filter to what came out on the market. With music production software being so cheap - everyone is a producer and the amount of tracks being released to beatport is overwhelming. Where as I used to listen to 10 tracks and buy/love 4-5 of them - that ration is now 1 or 2.

    In the fragrance world, the world of niche/independent perfumers enables a lot of people to put their fragrances on the market - etsy is the market place that anyone can put their scents on. Then stores like indiescent, min, aedes act as a filter.

    For the past year, I've been enjoying exploring independent perfumers who are free from major market restraints (like major labels in the dance music world) and are able to be more creative/out there. Off the top of my head - Slumberhouse, Sweet Anthem, Providence Perfume and Kerosene come to mind.

    One thing I will say - if you are looking at economics - I am tempted to say that the value of aromachemicals/ingredients used in independent scents are higher than those used in mainstream/designer scents. For example, when I smell Slumberhouse Norne - I imagine that if the same scent was released mainstream or from a larger niche house - it would be priced 4-5x more.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    You are never going to know unless you sample them yourself - just like any other line/fragrance.

    Personally, I think John has done an excellent job. I own and enjoy R'Oud Elements, Copper Skies and Whips and Roses. I am very happy with my purchases.
    Judging from my time here at basenotes, I know Joe has a pretty discriminating nose - he certainly doesn't like "just anything." To again relate this conversation to music, the Foo Fighters made their last record in their garage. Sometimes a natural energy, free of convention makes for a really good product. I've yet to sample John's frags, so I don't have an opinion yet, but I look forward to testing them in the next couple weeks.

    As for the price, I'd have to think he buys his materials in much smaller batches than most houses, which probably drive up production costs a bit. $140 a bottle isn't crazy expensive by any means though, if the juice is good.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamwires View Post
    ...As for the price, I'd have to think he buys his materials in much smaller batches than most houses, which probably drive up production costs a bit. $140 a bottle isn't crazy expensive by any means though, if the juice is good.
    I don't think $140 is "crazy," but rather that it is meant to convey exclusivity, and not based upon some sort of utilitarian formula. Smell Bent is much cheaper, and I think their quality is quite good, so $140 is too much, IMO, for a person like myself, who is in it only for the fragrance (not the bottle, nor any sense of being special because I wear niche frag X).

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by djron91 View Post

    ...

    I come from the dance music world which is experiencing a DIY phenomenon as well. If you go back 10 years, the cost of equipment was really high - and then record labels exercised the role of quality control, acting as a filter to what came out on the market. With music production software being so cheap - everyone is a producer and the amount of tracks being released to beatport is overwhelming. Where as I used to listen to 10 tracks and buy/love 4-5 of them - that ration is now 1 or 2.

    In the fragrance world, the world of niche/independent perfumers enables a lot of people to put their fragrances on the market - etsy is the market place that anyone can put their scents on. Then stores like indiescent, min, aedes act as a filter.

    For the past year, I've been enjoying exploring independent perfumers who are free from major market restraints (like major labels in the dance music world) and are able to be more creative/out there. Off the top of my head - Slumberhouse, Sweet Anthem, Providence Perfume and Kerosene come to mind.

    One thing I will say - if you are looking at economics - I am tempted to say that the value of aromachemicals/ingredients used in independent scents are higher than those used in mainstream/designer scents. For example, when I smell Slumberhouse Norne - I imagine that if the same scent was released mainstream or from a larger niche house - it would be priced 4-5x more.
    Agree 100 %. As to costs, that is only something manufacturers know, but I have the feeling that it is the way you describe it to be.

    Off topic, I am left thinking about the future of these independent perfumists.

    Option A: Like Andy Tauer, they will insist on supervising operations so they will keep business operations limited.

    Option B: Big multinational corporations (MNCs) find the prestige of their brands in peril so they massively acquire many independent companies, like the ones owned by Kerosene.

    Option C: They coexist - aficionados end up leaving big MNC's brands to the masses and explore offerings by independent perfumists.

    Option D: Big MNCs launch "faked independent perfumists" through shill marketing activities and we, aficionados, end up supporting them without being aware of the scheme.

    Sorry, just doing some perfume-business-fiction.

    On topic: end up curious. New ones in my list for future reviews in our blog.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    I don't want to get to niche/designer argument but its come down to good or bad.

    Me personally will never pay retail for niche, I buy decants...unless there is no other option...cause for the most part I have a hard time justifying spending over a hundred dollars on a bottle of juice.

    I'm one who can appreciate quality, but expensive ingredients doesn't indicate that.

    Even though I'm aware he had to put in some investments in the start up cost, I'm sure in the long run with the production cost in comparison to the sales... there will be a high profit margin.

    Nothing wrong with that, its a money making business...but I want to know if people think its really worth that.

    I know a lot of people are fans of Kerosene and there is nothing wrong with that and obviously some have invested into his company already...I just think this may be more bias.

    I know some people love it and some people hate it....I'm just open to here both sides of the discussion because like I said in my original post, I'm a skeptic.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    I think I'll order some MIN samples since I have some extra cash, any other suggestions besides Kerosene?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraghead View Post
    I also say that they appear homemade, so I'm not wrong there. I will repeat that I'm not bashing. It's an opinion, something that everyone is entitled to! I also state that I'm happy to pay top dollar for something if it's worth it, regardless of whether it's a new perfumer or an established one. Defending myself here starship, as I feel you're turning my post into something negative, which was not at all my intention. Accept my apologies if I have offended you.
    Oh I didn't mean to sound so negative (which I guess I come across as) no need to apologize. I was just trying to explain the detail obviously put into the product. I think the homemade look goes very well with the vibe I get from him, which is very down to earth.

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    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by yteek View Post
    I think I'll order some MIN samples since I have some extra cash, any other suggestions besides Kerosene?
    MIN definitely has some great fragrances to offer, you can sample all 5 of the Kerosene fragrances for $10. I'd also recommend checking out Heeley, Amouage, and Tauer which they all carry.

    Another thing to consider, if a store like MinNY picks up a line (and the others his fragrances are sold at) there's a good chance it's not a fluke.

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    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    I've never tried any of his frags, but I agree with this sentiment. I am pretty sure that people are giving him a boost because he was a reviewer himself, and thus giving his fragrances a higher grade than they would receive if they were say a Bond No. 9, a Creed or another polarizing brand.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    I feel that this thread is full of haters. They say familuarity breeds contempt. Why out of the thousands of mediocore scents saturating the market is there a thread questioning this individuals product which has proven to be legite? Not a good look here.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by yteek View Post
    I possibly would sample it if they were free...but probably not.

    I am the type of person before purchasing or sampling anything, I do look into the reviews beforehand and the responses of the general public beforehand....then I'm able to see if it meets expectations or if it falls short.
    so basically you'd rather have your opinions formed for you?


    Quote Originally Posted by yteek View Post
    To be honest, I'm rather skeptical of it in general...
    to be honest, seems like you have an axe to grind.


    Quote Originally Posted by yteek View Post
    I know a lot of people are fans of Kerosene and there is nothing wrong with that and obviously some have invested into his company already...I just think this may be more bias.

    I know some people love it and some people hate it....I'm just open to here both sides of the discussion because like I said in my original post, I'm a skeptic.

    I think I'll order some MIN samples since I have some extra cash, any other suggestions besides Kerosene?
    for someone who clearly has no interest in Kerosene fragrances you sure are hellbent on trying to discredit them. this thread had ill intentions from go.


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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Great thread! yteek is thinking some of the exact same questions that went through my mind. Homemade, untrained, all of it.

    I liked R'oud Elements very much when I sampled, and found it FBW, so I bought it. I eventually did a side-by-side with M7 vintage and found that I love R'oud far more than ANY version of M7. R'oud is a wee bit "rougher" in texture, but I've come to love that aspect. It has certain spicy and smoky and orange kicks to it that I think are amazing, and the typical niche solidity of the thing (longevity and projection over time - i.e., area under curve) just blows poor M7 out of the water. Not saying that M7 is bad - just that R'oud isn't wasting the ability of niche to amp things up where designer hesitates to go. And you know me - I love designer stuff.

    Creature is unwearable to me, but I respect it. "Tauer-esque" - sorta like the Lonestar Memories of green notes. Do NOT buy that thing unseen. I may come back to it, because some aspects are very attractive, but it's challenging overall.

    Copper Skies is a very different woody and amber - enough that I didn't find it derivative of anything. It is REALLY well named - it evokes red, dry brick and dead wood to me. However, despite being somewhat novel, it just didn't excite me, so I didn't buy.

    Haven't smelled the new ones - looking forward to them.

    The scents smell - to me - both untrained and unconstrained. Training has both positive and negative elements. Training is a shortcut to things that can take a lot of time to discover on one's own. However, training tends to bypass some really interesting things that people simply miss.

    I think comparison of R'oud Elements to Mona's oud (which I just smelled, thanks to Brian Chambers) is very telling. Mona trained and worked with some of the greats in perfumery. That oud really is a masterpiece. There is this wonderful, classical state of balance that she brings it to, which reminds me of perfect states that I have seen in my beloved Chanels, such as Cuir de Russie and no. 5 Eau Première. I see that as a byproduct of training - because classic perfumes tend to seek out such multicomponent perfect points.

    R'oud Elements, however, is perfectly named, because it shuns that type of beauty, for something which is "rude, crude, and socially unacceptable", as they used to say, but has a beauty that any lover of Kansas City <whatever> will recognize. In fact, there is a part of R'oud that smells every bit like barbecued orange chicken on a grill to me. Very American. Like early jazz, it's uneducated, but hugely attractive, and very emergent. I love it!

    Be skeptical. These are NOT common scents that are easy to love. Sample. But I have to admit that I've gotten bored with a lot of the safer, more designerish niche stuff lately, and Kerosene was the first niche line in some time that I was really excited about bottling on.

    I think that training is a worthy thing, and I wish more young perfume lovers with talent like Kerosene would consider going into the industry, getting the training, infusing designer and corporate niche fragrances with their talents, and driving mainstream perfumery in new and interesting directions. But not all of them. It's always good to have those outsiders, to keep things real.
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  30. #30

    Default Re: Kerosene Fragrances, Honest Opinions?

    Spoken like a true pro, Redneck! Fair and balanced! (Something most of this thread is not)

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